Fleur de Lis

Fleur de Lis

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Spicy Picante Sauce

The tomato canning process continues!  After Sunday's adventure of semi-hot thick and chunky salsa, my taste buds decided we definitely needed a spicy, smooth picante sauce.  I can see this being spooned over enchiladas or burritos. It had the perfect amount of heat for me, but as always adjust your pepper flavors and amounts to suit your taste.  And remember, removing the seeds and membrane will reduce the heat level as well.

24 Roma tomatoes, stem end removed and quartered
1 medium jalapeno, chopped
1 Serrano pepper, chopped
4 Cajun bell peppers, chopped
1 large white onion, peeled and chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1 t. freshly ground black pepper
6 garlic cloves
2/3 cup fresh lime juice
2 t. Kosher salt
Powdered citric acid

Working in several batches, puree the ingredients in a blender until smooth. The ingredients will tend to settle, so give them a minute for the larger pieces to drop to the bottom of the blender and then process again for 15 - 20 seconds.

When you have finished blending all the ingredients, pour into a large Dutch oven and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook for an hour, stirring occasionally.  The picture below is about half way through the simmering process.

And here is the picante sauce after an hour of gentle simmering ready to be ladled into jars.

This was enough sauce for 4 pints.  I used two pint jars and four half pint jars.  Bring enough water to cover the jars by an inch or two to a boil.  Place the clean jars into the hot water for a quick sterilization and then remove them and fill with the sauce leaving about 1/2 inch headspace.  

Add 1/4 t. citrus acid for the pint jars and 1/8 t. if you're using half pints.

Place lids which have been waiting in simmering water on the top of the jar and then place on the rings, just finger tight tightness.  You don't want to use all your strength to get the rings on the jars.  Allow a little room for expansion.

Return the jars to the boiling water bath for 30 minutes.  Carefully remove them from the water and place in a draft free area to cool.  Check after a few hours to make sure all the jars have sealed.  If any have not, refrigerate and use the sauce within a few days.

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